Pro­posed Lewisporte recre­ation com­plex to in­clude op­tional pool

Out­go­ing coun­cil­lor takes ex­cep­tion to lack of con­crete pool plan, ad­di­tion of curl­ing rink

The Pilot - - Front Page - BY PA­TRICK MUR­PHY Pa­trick.Mur­phy@ad­ver­tis­

The specter of Lewisporte’s pro­posed, and later dis­carded, mu­nic­i­pal swim­ming pool was raised at the reg­u­lar meet­ing of the Lewisporte Town Coun­cil Sept. 5.

Out­go­ing coun­cil­lor Jim Snow, who is not on the bal­lot in this year’s mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion, took is­sue with the ap­proval of a de­vel­op­ment plan for a pro­posed recre­ation com­plex in Lewisporte. The fi­nal con­cept for the fa­cil­ity in­cludes an “open area for op­tional swim­ming pool, recre­ation field, ad­di­tional park­ing or other,” in the de­sign. Snow took ex­cep­tion to the use of the term op­tional in the de­scrip­tion, and the al­lowance for al­ter­na­tive uses.

“One of the main pri­or­i­ties of this coun­cil had been a swim­ming pool,” Snow said in his ad­dress to coun­cil. “We ended up with $4.6 mil­lion — now it was sup­pos­edly for a pool, we’re out there now and it wasn’t even added to the ini­tial con­cept.”

In 2011 the town re­ceived $ 4.6 mil­lion in cap­i­tal works fund­ing from the prov­ince to build a swim­ming pool for res­i­dents of Lewisporte. Un­der the terms of the deal with the prov­ince, the town would be re­spon­si­ble for com­ing up with 20 per cent — about $920,000 — of the to­tal cost. Ul­ti­mately the town de­cided it could not build a suitable venue with the funds avail­able and the cost of op­er­a­tion would be pro­hibi- tive. As a re­sult the funds were re-pro­filed and uti­lized to re­me­di­ate flood dam­age that oc­curred in 2016.

Snow pointed out the cur­rent de­sign al­lows for a curl­ing rink and a mul­ti­pur­pose fa­cil­ity that was never a stated pri­or­ity for coun­cil. The out­go­ing coun­cil­lor said the pool should still be a top pri­or­ity and re­it­er­ated the com­mu­nity’s desire for an aquatic’s cen­tre.

“I wouldn’t even en­ter­tain vot­ing in favour,” said Snow of the proposal.

Coun. Ed Vatcher, who in­tro­duced the mo­tion to ap­prove the con­cept, agreed the curl­ing rink was re­cently added to the de­sign. Vatcher also stated the de­sign is only a de­vel­op­ment plan and the in­com­ing coun­cil would be able to amend the plan.

“This is just a de­vel­op­ment plan be­ing pre­sented here, it’s not say­ing they have to do it that way,” said Vatcher. “The thing was, we spent the money we had for the pool, so that money is gone.”

Snow re­sponded to Vatcher, stat­ing the town did not have the funds to con­struct a curl­ing rink either, and that he be­lieved the mat­ter should be left to the in­com­ing coun­cil.

Af­ter some dis­cus­sion the fi­nal con­cept was ap­proved with Snow pro­vid­ing the only dis­sent­ing vote.

Coun­cil also ap­proved an amend­ment to the Wool­frey’s Pond Park and Camp­ground fi­nal con­cept. The amend­ment will pro­vide for the con­struc­tion of a sec­ondary ac­cess road. The pro­posed road would run from the for­mer Blue Buoy Food site on Range Road to Sun­set Boule­vard. Coun­cil ap­proved the change unan­i­mously.

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